Wilson, Robin J. (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2018

Physical Details: 176

Language: English

Physical Details: 176

Language: English

In 1988 The Mathematical Intelligencer, a quarterly mathematics journal, carried out a poll to find the most beautiful theorem in mathematics. Twenty-four theorems were listed and readers were invited to award each a "score for beauty". While there were many worthy competitors, the winner was"Euler's equation". In 2004 Physics World carried out a similar poll of "greatest equations", and found that among physicists Euler's mathematical result came second only to Maxwell's equations. The Stanford mathematician Keith Devlin reflected the feelings of many in describing it as "like aShakespearian sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting which brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler's equation reaches down into the very depths of existence".What is it that makes Euler's identity, eipi + 1 = 0, so special?In Euler's Pioneering Equation Robin Wilson shows how this simple, elegant, and profound formula links together perhaps the five most important numbers in mathematics, each associated with a story in themselves: the number 1, the basis of our counting system; the concept of zero, which was a majordevelopment in mathematics, and opened up the idea of negative numbers; pi an irrational number, the basis for the measurement of circles; the exponential e, associated with exponential growth and logarithms; and the imaginary number i, the square root of -1, the basis of complex numbers. Followinga chapter on each of the elements, Robin Wilson discusses how the startling relationship between them was established, including the several near misses to the discovery of the formula.

...More
Reviewed By

Review
Miranda Wood
(2019)
Review of "Euler's Pioneering Equation: The Most Beautiful Theorem in Mathematics".
*British Journal for the History of Mathematics*
(pp. 120-123).

Citation URI

Article
Amanda Paxton;
(2021)

The Hard Math of Beauty: Gerard Manley Hopkins and "Spectral Numbers"
(/isis/citation/CBB150662150/)

Article
Zhang, Sheng;
(2007)

Euler and Euler Numbers
(/isis/citation/CBB000760554/)

Book
Nahin, Paul J.;
(2006)

Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills
(/isis/citation/CBB000772751/)

Chapter
Paolo Zellini;
(2018)

La crescita dei numeri nel pensiero antico e moderno
(/isis/citation/CBB053441886/)

Article
Katia Asselah;
(2011)

Jean Prestet: algèbre et combinatoire dans la résolution des équations
(/isis/citation/CBB507580823/)

Article
Bullynck, Maarten;
(2010)

Factor Tables 1657--1817, with Notes on the Birth of Number Theory
(/isis/citation/CBB001033636/)

Article
Ferraro, Giovanni;
(2004)

Differentials and Differential Coefficients in the Eulerian Foundations of the Calculus
(/isis/citation/CBB000410838/)

Article
Coates, John;
(2008)

Euler's Work on Zeta and L-Functions and Their Special Values
(/isis/citation/CBB000931916/)

Article
Glasberg, Ronald;
(2003)

Mathematics and Spiritual Interpretation: A Bridge to Genuine Interdisciplinarity
(/isis/citation/CBB000411132/)

Article
Bell, Jordan;
(2010)

A Summary of Euler's Work on the Pentagonal Number Theorem
(/isis/citation/CBB001022000/)

Article
Hollenback, George M.;
(2003)

Another Example of an Implied Pi Value of 3 1/8 in Babylonian Mathematics
(/isis/citation/CBB000774901/)

Article
Harmer, Adam;
(2014)

Leibniz on Infinite Numbers, Infinite Wholes, and Composite Substances
(/isis/citation/CBB001201140/)

Book
Prévost, Jean-Guy;
Beaud, Jean-Pierre;
(2012)

Statistics, Public Debate and the State, 1800--1945: A Social, Political and Intellectual History of Numbers
(/isis/citation/CBB001550661/)

Article
Helen Elizabeth Ross;
Betty Irene Knott;
(2019)

Dicuil (9th Century) on Triangular and Square Numbers
(/isis/citation/CBB215002916/)

Book
Leo Corry;
(2015)

A Brief History of Numbers
(/isis/citation/CBB413534784/)

Article
Karolina Karpińska;
(2022)

“Denominate numbers” in mathematics school textbooks by Stefan Banach
(/isis/citation/CBB373520195/)

Article
Shelburne, B. J.;
(2012)

The ENIAC's 1949 Determination of π
(/isis/citation/CBB001211136/)

Article
Antropov, A.A.;
(1995)

On Euler's partition of forms into genera
(/isis/citation/CBB000062548/)

Article
Scriba, Christoph J.;
(1983)

Eulers zahlentheoretische Studien im Lichte seines wissenschaftlichen Briefwechsels
(/isis/citation/CBB000007121/)

Article
Mel'nikov, I. G.;
(1974)

Voprosy theorii chisel v tvorchestve Ferma i Eilera. (Problems of number theory in Fermat and Euler.)
(/isis/citation/CBB000011002/)

Be the first to comment!